Random Posts

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

If you play chess, you are in fast company

Ben Affleck plays chess at the Bel Air Chess Club.
Actor Claude Akins (1918-1994) was an enthusiastic chess player.
Actor Alan Alda (MASH)
Actor Mike Farrell (MASH)
Lew Ayers (1908-1996) played chess.
Lauren Bacall, who was age 20 when she married 45-year old Humphrey Bogart, played chess. She was on the cover of the June-July 1945 issue of Chess Review, along with Bogart, Charles Boyer, and Herman Steiner.
John and Lionel Barrymore (brothers) played.
Actress Polly Bergen plays chess. She said that Gregory Peck taught her chess between scenes when they both starred in Cape Fear in 1962.
Humphrey Bogart. His most famous chess scene was studying a chess position in Casablanca. Bogart was a very active member of Herman Steiner's Chess Club. He was a USCF tournament director and active in the California State Chess Association. During WW2 Bogart played correspondence chess with troops stations overseas.  His rating was estimated to be somewhere between expert and master.
Charles Boyer (1899-1978) was a chess and checker player. A picture of him playing chess appeared several times in chess magazines such as Chess Review and Chess.
Marlon Brando (1924-2004) played chess for relaxation at home and while on the set of most of his movies.
Producer Mel Brooks took some lessons from US Senior Master Kim Commons.  Commons also had the entire Jefferson Airplane among his students. Brooks had a few chess scenes in some of his movies such as Blazing Saddles and History of the World: Part I.
Nicholas Cage. In 1999, Cage started having his son Weston, age 9, take chess lessons from Robert Snyder.  Snyder was arrested and convicted for multiple sexual assaults involving children dating back to 1983 and was featured on America's Most Wanted  after fleeing Colorado while still on supervised probation in 2008.  He was found in Belize, and on March 30, 2010 after pleading guilty, he was given an open (up to life) sentence. Cage is a member of the Internet Chess Club. Little known fact: Cage is the nephew of Francis Ford Coppola.
NBA basketball player Wilt Chamberlain (1936-1999) played chess and backgammon. He lived in Bel Air, California and once invited Fischer to dinner at his house, but Fischer didn't want to meet any other people, so declined.
Charlie Chaplin (1899-1977) played chess and in 1921, he met with Sammy Reshevsky when Reshevsky giving a simultaneous exhibition at the Los Angeles Athletic Club. Chaplin mentioned his meeting in his autobiography.
TV radio and talk show host Les Crane played chess and sponsored chess tournaments.   In the 1980s, he became chairman of The Software Toolworks , creators of Chessmaster 2000 in 1986. Software Toolworks was sold and renamed Mindscape in the early 1990s.
Bobby Darin (1936-1973) was about to sponsor the richest tournament ever, the Bobby Darin International Chess Classic, but he died during a heart operation in Los Angeles. He was playing chess just before he went into surgery.  His wife, Sandra Dee, was also a chess player. Bobby Darin's son, Dodd, runs a chess publishing house
Actor Henry Darrow (starred in the western, High Chaparral) was a good player. He played and won a few chess tournaments. He claimed to have played Fischer and drew a game with Boris Spassky.
Olivia de Havilland plays both chess and Go.  Her father was one of the first non-Japanese persons to be a Go master.
Actor Dustin Diamond (Screech in Saved by the Bell) has a USCF rating around 1400.  In 2001, he made a 4-hour chess video called Dustin Diamond Teaches Chess. He took a few chess lessons from Grandmaster Roman Dzindzihashvili.
Marlene Dietrich (1904-1992) played chess. She played several games against John Wayne during lulls in film shooting. She was a spectator at the 1945 Hollywood Pan-American Chess Tournament.
Tony Dow, film producer, director, sculptor and television star (Leavbe it to Beaver) plays chess.
Jerry  Mathers, Television (Leave it ti Beaver), film and stage actor.
Erik Estrada plays chess and is rated about 1400 by the USCF.
Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. (1909-2000) played.
Morgan Fairchild plays. She once hosted a charity chess event in Mexico.
Peter Falk was a spectator at chess events such as the American Open in Santa Monica. He used chess in some of his scenes in Columbo. In 1973, an episode called "The Most Dangerous Match" was about an American chess champion who murders the Russian champion.
Jose Ferrer (1909-1992) was an enthusiastic player. He took lessons and played chess at Herman Steiner's chess club (which became the Hollywood Chess Club).
Heidi Fleiss, Hollywood madam who went to prison in 1993 played chess and spent much of her time playing chess and teaching others. She claimed she won two city championships when she was younger.
Henry Fonda (1905-1982) played chess.
Zsa Zsa Gabor said she played chess on her honeymoon with George Sanders.
Ava Gardner (1922-1990) was married to Artie Shaw, and they both played chess. When she started beating him in chess, he stopped playing her.
Woody Harrelson (Cheers) played a consultation game with Gary Kasparov in Prague, drawing in 30 moves.
Ted Danson (Cheers) also played but said but said Harrelson was stronger.
Katharine Hepburn (1909-2003) played chess, often with Humphrey Bogart.
Kate Jackson (Charlie's Angels). She owns a chess computer and plays against it rather than watch television.
Actress Myrna Loy (1905-1993) played and was mentioned in Chess Life and Chess Review magazines and was a member of Herman Steiner's chess club.
Anthony Quinn (1915-2001) was an avid player who played between movie takes with anyone who was interested. Quinn claims that the only person to constantly beat him in chess was David Niven.
Basil Rathbone (1892-1967) played.
Man Ray (1890-1996), famous photographer and painter, played chess. He designed several chess sets and hoped one of his designs would become the standard for the World Chess Federation.
Keanu Reeves was a chess hustler in Toronto and played on his high school team.
Julia Roberts plays chess and has requested chess sets available in her trailer when making a movie.
Actor and restaurant owner Mike Romanoff (1890-1971) was a strong player. He played many games against Humphrey Bogart and in 1946 won $100 from Bogart in a chess game played at Romanoff's restaurant. That evening, Bogart went home, then called Romanoff to play one more game over the phone for another $100. Romanoff agreed, then lost the game. Bogart just happened to have Herman Steiner over his house, and Bogart's moves were really made by Steiner.
Arnold Schwarzenegger plays chess and in 2002 he played a friendly game with Kasparov. His wife, Maria Shriver, and their four children all play chess. He says that he relied on chess to keep him awake on movie sets.
George C. Scott (1927-1999). During the filming of Dr. Strangelove, he played chess constantly with director Stanly Kubrick. Kubrick won most of the games.
Will Smith is an avid chess player. In 1998, he began taking chess lessons from Robert Snyder.  Smith wrote the forward to Grandmaster Maurice Ashley's Chess for Success.
Actor Jesse Vint plays chess and in 1987 he won First Runner-Up in the World Celebrity Chess Championship held in Mazatlan, Mexico. In 1988, he won the World Celebrity Chess Championship at the Century Plaza in Los Angeles.
John Wayne (1907-1979) played chess between shots while making movies.
Director Billy Wilder (1906-2002) played chess.
Actor Guy Williams (1924-1999) who played swashbuckling action heroes in the 1950s and 1960s was a chess player. When he lived in New York, he spent his time at the Manhattan Chess Club and was a member. He lived near Central Park and went to the park often to play chess. He later played chess against a variety of computer chess programs.
Actor William Windom (September 28, 1923 - August 16, 2012) was an active player who was rated in the mid-1600's by the USCF.

Others known to dabble in chess: Woody Allen, Sarah Bernhardt, Richard Boone (Have Gun, Will Travel), Shirley Booth (Hazel)  Marlon Brando, Mel Brooks, Sid Caesar, Cher, Lee J Cobb, Charles Coburn, Bill Cosby, Macaulay Culkin (Home Alone), Timothy Dalton (James Bond), James Darren, Dustin Diamond, Marlene Dietrich, Hugh Downs, Mia Farrow, Jose Ferrer, Errol Flynn, Henry Fonda, Michael J Fox, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Ava Gardner, Lorne Greene (Bonanza), Sydney Greenstreet, Rex Harrison, Katherine Hepburn, Charlton Heston, Alfred Hitchcock, Bob Hope, Anthony Hopkins, Dennis Hopper, John Huston, Sam Jaffe (Dr. Zorba on Ben Casey), Don Johnson, Boris Karloff, Ben Kingsley, Stanley Kubrick, Jude Law, David Letterman, Peter Lorre, Myna Loy, Bela Lugosi, Marcel Marceau, Dean Martin, Steve Martin, the Marx brothers, James Mason, Walter Matthau, Patrick McGoohan, Ray Milland, Carmen Miranda, Yves Montand, Rick Moranis, Frank Morgan (Oz in Wizard of Oz), Paul Neuman, David Niven, Chuck Norris, Maureen O'Sullivan, Gregory Peck, George Peppard, Walter Pidgeon, Jason Priestley (90210), Dennis Quiad, Tony Randall, Chris Rock, Cesar Romaro, Jill Saint John, Susan Sarandon, Tom Selleck, Peter Sellers, Omar Sharif, Jimmy Stewart, Oliver Stone, Barbra Streisand, Rod Taylor, Shirley Temple Black, Spencer Tracy, Lana Turner, Rudolph Valentino, Ray Walston (My Favorite Martian), Orson Welles and James Whitmore.
Sports figures: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Boris Becker, Larry Bird, Jim Bouton, Jim Brown, Kobe Bryant, Jennifer Capriati, Reggie Carter, Bill Cartwright, Michael Chang, Sean Elliot, Roger Federer, Ron Guidry, Evander Holyfield, Bobby Jones, Chuck Knox, Ivan Lendl, Lennox Lewis, John McEnroe, Thurman Munson, Dale Murphy, Barry Sanders, Latrell Sprewell, Gene Tunney, Bill Walsh, Bill Walton, and Emil Zatopek.
Musicians: Bono (U-2), Sonny Bono, David Bowie, Enrico Caruso, Pablo Casals, Ray Charles, Chopin, Bobby Darrin, Neil Diamond, Bob Dylan, Sticky Fingaz (Onyx), Dizzy Gillespie, the entire group in Jefferson Airplane,  Grace Slick, Gene Kupra, Lohn Lennon, Sean Lennon, LL COOL J, Madonna, Johnny Marks (wrote several famous Christmas songs) Yehudi Menuin, Moby, Grahan Nash (Crosby, Stills, and Nash), Willie Nelson, Yoko Ono, Louis Persinger, Gregor Piatigorsky, Helen Reddy, Tim Rice, David Lee Roth, Arthur Rubinstein, Artie Shaw, Frank Sinatra, Ringo Starr, Isaac Stern, and Sting.
Writers:  Cleveland Amory, Isaac Asimov, Frank Baum (Wizard of Oz), Art Buchwald, Lewis Carroll, Cervantes, Charles Dickens, Dostoevsky, Arthur Conan Doyle, George Elliot, Goethe, O. Henry, Ibsen, Ben Jonson, Kipling, Sinclair Lewis, Jack London, Norman Mailer, Hermann Melville, Vladimir Nobokov, George Orwell, Edgar Allen Poe, Pushkin, Peter Roget (of thesaurus fame), Salman Rushdie, William Shakespeare, George Bernard Shaw, Isaac Singer, John Steinbeck, Rex Stout (Nero Wolfe), Tennyson, Walter Tevis (The Hustler), Tolstoy, Kurt Vonnegut, H.G. Wells, William Yeats, and Stefan Zweig.

Politicians:John Quincy Adams, Spiro Agnew, Yasser Arafat, Menachem Begin, Napoleon Bonaparte, Willy Brandt, Zbigniew Brzesinski, Aaron Burr, Jimmy Carter, Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, Grover Cleveland, Francisco Franco, Benjamin Franklin, Muammar Gadaffi, James Garfield, Joseph Goebbels, Ulysses S Grant, H.R. Halderman, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Ivan the Terrible, Thomas Jefferson, John F Kennedy Jr, Henry Kissinger, Lenin, Abraham Lincoln, James Madison, Ferdinand Marcos, Karl Marx, Juan Peron, Richard Riordan (former mayor of Los Angeles), Theodore Roosevelt, Anwar Sadat, Pierre Salinger, Josip Tito, Leon Trotsky, and Woodrow Wilson.

Miscellaneous: Bill Gates, Bob Guccione (publisher of Penthouse), George Custer, Robert E. Lee, John Pershing, P.T. Barnum, Al Capone, Casanova, John Hinkley (tried to assassinate President Reagan), Harry Houdini, Timothy Leary, Lee Harvey Oswald, Willie Sutton (bank robber), Sigmond Freud, Voltaire, Billy Graham, Stephen Hawking, Robert Oppenheimer, Charles Kuralt, Hernando De Soto, Francisco Pizarro, Atahualpa, and Auguste Piccard.

No comments:

Post a Comment